Article Contents

  • 1. Some examples
    • 1.1. 8/10 split nightmare
    • 1.2. He doth protest too much
    • 1.3. I just couldn’t find a shot
  • 2. Friction and resistance
  • 3. Determining the range and the spaces that are right for you
    • 3.1. Ball speed
    • 3.2. Rev rate
    • 3.3. Balance between rev rate and ball speed
    • 3.4. Axis tilt angle
    • 3.5. Axis rotation angle
  • 4. Finding your personal style
    • 4.1. Using the chart to calculate your range and the spaces between the balls in your...
  • 5. Common arsenal errors
  • 6. The bottom line
  • 7. Editor’s note:  Two differing perspectives, one common goal

The need for an arsenal of bowling balls is something that more and more bowlers are finally buying into. Once you decide that an arsenal of balls is something you need, then the fun starts: how do you set up an arsenal that makes sense for you.

Before we go on, I need to clarify something based on comments that I’ve heard recently from some bowlers, most of whom I respect greatly. I have long extolled the virtues of knowing the RG measurements of your bowling balls. That being said, I have never said that the RG of a bowling ball is more important than the friction created between the cover material and the lane surface. Unfortunately, many bowlers who do not understand the function of the RG take this fact and use it as a reason not to take the time to understand the importance of the radius of gyration. Please permit me to use an analogy to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

I think that we can all agree that the single most important need for every human being on the planet is having air to breath. Without air, we would all be dead in a matter of minutes. Once we have the air we need to breath, however, we are not done. While air is the most important thing for us to live, within about three days we had better consider our need for water to drink. Another two and a half weeks, and we had also better consider our need for food to eat. Yes, air is the most important factor for humans, just as friction is the most important factor in ball reaction. But, RG is also important, just as water and food are also important, and RG cannot be ignored.

Some examples

Please allow me to relate three instances about which I have written before about the dangers inherent in relying totally on the friction that exists between the cover of the bowling ball and the surface of the lane.

8/10 split nightmare

A couple of years ago a senior bowler was averaging about 215 with a polished hybrid ball with a low RG of 2.53. A new ball was released with a low RG of 2.48 that was advertised as going long because of its polished surface. The senior bowler bought one. For the next four weeks, he averaged 170 with his new ball, leaving multiple 8/10 splits many times throughout each set he bowled. He finally went back to his higher RG ball and immediately began to average 215 once again.

He doth protest too much

I once heard a fellow pot game bowler loudly proclaim that the lanes were so dry that he had to throw a urethane ball. I got a look in his bag and saw that the other ...

Rob Mautner

About Rob Mautner

Rob Mautner is a USBC Silver Level Certified Coach and a PBA member. He can be found online at www.modern-bowling.com. Rob can be found on the lanes coaching and bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.